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ECON-102 Principles of Economics (Micro)

Microeconomics introduces students to the economic principles and tools needed for analyzing and making more informed personal, business, and societal decisions. Major topics covered in the course include Scarcity, Market Demand and Supply Analysis, Elasticity, Consumer Choice and Demand, Costs of Production, Pricing and Output determination in Perfectly Competitive and Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets, Resource Pricing and Employment Decisions, External Effects and Resource Allocation, Regulation and Antitrust Laws, and International Trade.

This course is a Social Science, Arts and Science, and Business elective.

Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121 (English Composition I) or ENGL-122 (English
Composition II)
John Bouman
ST Building 254
(443) 518-4873

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Texts and Materials |Exams

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Define economics, describe decision-making at the margin, state the fundamental economic problem, and explain how the study of economics benefits the individual and society.
  • Explain how a market economy determines equilibrium prices, allocates resources and production among industries, distributes income and products among households, and alleviates shortages and surpluses of resources and products.
  • Discuss how price ceilings and price floors affect the well being of consumer, producers, and market efficiency.
  • Explain why some products have elastic demands and supplies while others have inelastic demand and supplies, and how can consumers and firms profit from having this information.
  • Show the general shapes of short-run total, average and marginal cost curves of firms, and explain why there are economies of scale and diseconomies of scale in the long run.
  • Describe the two approaches for determining the most profitable quantity of a product to produce and offer for sale by a firm.
  • Describe pricing and production decisions in perfectly competitive industries.
  • List the condition for long-run equilibrium in perfect competition and explain its implications for productive and allocative efficiency.
  • Describe pricing and productions decisions in pure monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly, and compare in the long run the equilibrium prices and the quantities of output produced to perfect competition.
  • Explain how the existence of externalities and market power affect market outcomes.
  • State and explain the rule for determining the most profitable quantities of labor, land and capital.
  • Analyze the consequences of an appreciated and depreciated U.S. dollar on U.S. exports, imports, trade balance, employment and production.

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Major Course Topics

  • Introduction to economics and microeconomics
  • Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost
  • Market demand and supply
  • Elasticity of demand and supply
  • Price ceilings and price floors
  • Consumers, producers and market efficiency
  • Costs of production
  • Price and output determination in competitive markets
  • Price and output determination in monopoly
  • Price and output determination in monopolistic competition
  • Price and output determination in oligopoly
  • Pricing and employment of factors of production
  • Poverty
  • International Trade

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Course Format

  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings except for the three proctored exams in the HCC
  • Testing Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students.
  • Does require active participation in the weekly online discussion.
  • Does not not require real-time chats.
  • Does require completing weekly quizzes.
  • The course will be conducted via access to materials on the Internet, online discussion, online practice problem sets, online review questions, and email communications.

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This course does not have a face-to-face orientation. I have prepared detailed Orientation and Email messages to help you navigate the course. About a week before the beginning of the semester log on to the course homepage and read the Orientation message and the Email messages. If you have questions, send me email. I try to respond in 24 hours.

Course Requirements

  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the DistanceLearning Homepage.
  • Three exams, each consisting of multiple-choice questions, short-essay questions, graphs, quantitative reasoning and decision-questions.
  • Completion of weekly quizzes.
  • Completion of a seven-page research paper on an American industry of your choice.
  • Active participation in the online course discussion.

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Texts and Materials

To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Netscape
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has three proctored exams at the HCC Testing Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. Each exam will have a flexible window of one week during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to John Bouman,

Last updated on 14-Jul-05

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